Steel Plates Installed

The steel screws arrived as I was leaving for work.  When I got home, I fed the dogs, then went to the basement and installed one of the plates to see how the screws would look.  They match in color perfectly and the square hole for the drill bit gives it a slightly odd look that works well with the track.  The color of the metal track, screws, and plates looks good together and the metal plates hold the track firmly.


I installed all of the plates on the inside of the track (facing the interior of the room) while listening to Transformers and then released the clamps that I had in place to keep the wood from moving.  As I released the clamps, the wood flexed slightly and set into place.  I ran the train for about an hour and noticed that the track slowly adjusted to the position of the wood.  In a couple of places, the track pulled slightly away at the joints leaving a 1/16 gap.  This happened just before each curve.

On Friday night, I watched the extra materials on the Transformers DVD and installed the plates on the outside of the track.  This was much more difficult because I could not use a normal driver to put the screws in and I couldn’t use the drill to tap the holes for the plates.  So, I took the little square driver bit that was for the #4 size screws, and a small wrench that could turn the driver bit.  With a lot of effort, I pushed with my index finger on my left hand while turning the bit with my right hand to start the screw into the wood.  After losing a bit of skin on the fingers, I was able to get all of the screws started into the track.  I then went back and used the wrench to finish driving the screws into the wood and locking the plates in place.